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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    Registration of deaths is the responsibility of individual State and Territory Registrars and is based on the data provided on a death registration form filled out by a funeral director and a medical certificate of cause of death form supplied by a doctor or coroner. This information is the basis of the data provided to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for processing and production of death statistics.


ABS death statistics are based on events registered in respective jurisdictions, with information provided by the state and territory Registrars of Births, Death and Marriages (RBDM). Australian death statistics are used as an input into the production of quarterly estimates of natural increase as a component of population change in the calculation of population estimates. Death statistics are also used in the analysis of mortality in Australia. Trends in mortality are used in the development of assumptions on future levels of mortality for population projections.

The primary uses of Australian population estimates are in the determination of seats in the House of Representatives for each state and territory, as well as in distribution of Australian Government funds to state, territory and local governments. Population estimates are also used for a wide range of government, business and community decisions, both directly and indirectly, by contributing to a range of other social and economic indicators.


  1. All deaths being registered for the first time.
  2. Deaths in Australia of temporary visitors to Australia.
  3. Deaths occurring within Australian Territorial waters.
  4. Deaths occurring in Australian Antarctic Territories or other external territories (excluding Norfolk Island).
  5. Deaths occurring in transit (i.e. on ships or planes) if registered in the State of "next port of call".
  6. Deaths of Australian Nationals overseas who were employed at Australian legations and consular offices (ie deaths of Australian diplomats while overseas) where able to be identified.
  7. Deaths that occurred in earlier reference periods that have not been previously registered (late registrations).


  1. Still births/ foetal deaths (these are accounted for in Perinatal deaths).
  2. Repatriation of human remains of decedents whose death occurred overseas.
  3. Deaths overseas of foreign diplomatic staff (where these are able to be identified).
  4. Deaths occurring on Norfolk Island.


    Conceptual framework
    Deaths are a component of population growth. See Demographic Estimates and Projections: Concepts, Sources and Methods, Statistical Concepts Library on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website Publication No 3228.

    Main outputs
    Main output is annual data. Variables include - age at death, sex, marital status, country of birth, duration of residence, month and year of occurrence, year of registration, usual residence of deceased, state of registration, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths.

    Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) for Usual Residence
    Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) for Country of Birth

    Other concepts (summary)
    Age specific death rate
    Crude death rate
    Standardised death rate
    Indirect standardised death rate
    Infant death
    Infant mortality rate
    Life expectancy
    Estimated resident population

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Statistical Local Area
    Legal Local Government Area
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan

    Comments and/or Other Regions


    Frequency comments
    Information is collected from the relevant Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages on a monthly basis.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics - ABS (previously the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics), has had responsibility to produce population estimates since it's establishment, and deaths have been an integral part of this process. State and National deaths data date back to at least 1860, while death data are available in electronic form on an annual basis from 1964. Each State/Territory office of ABS was responsible for the collection and processing of deaths data registered with that State/Territory up until 1996, when this function was centralised in the Queensland office of the ABS.


    Data availability comments

    31/08/2015 01:33 PM